Pat Stevens, Leadership Team member and Lead for the Vitality Team, provides a summary and description of the vitality pathway process at FirstCov.
God wants First Covenant Church of River Falls to be a healthy, missional church. By “healthy” we mean pursuing Christ. By “missional” we mean pursuing Christ’s priorities in the world. It’s good for our church to regularly take time for a check-up!
Our congregation recently started its check-up process by traveling the “Congregational Vitality Pathway”! It’s a pathway to help our church assess where we are and where God is leading us. Back in the 1800’s, a group of people had a vision to start our church in Mann Valley. They followed God’s path that led to Second Street in River Falls, to Division Street, and then to our current location. Many people have developed a personal relationship with Christ and have grown spiritually. We have been blessed as we serve both our church and our surrounding communities. God has been faithful!
Our recent sermon series on the seven churches in Revelations challenged us to think about what Jesus might be saying to our church now. What does He want to see happening? Are there things to improve? Are there new ministry opportunities within our church or community?
This is a big task for our church, and we’re grateful that the Evangelical Covenant Church supplies us with the resources and workshops to guide us in this process. This pathway was tested in 537 Covenant churches that were ten years or older. It has effectively impacted churches to reflect and to follow God’s leading.
Under the big screen in the multi-purpose room, you’ll find our visual “pathway”. The Leadership Team met with Jon Kramka (Northwest Conference Director of Congregational Vitality) in fall 2016 to learn about the process and how it can help us.
On February 25, 2017, we held the first workshop, Veritas, with Jon. Over 80 attended the workshop, and we made our initial analysis of our church after learning about the four types of churches. We had four choices: Healthy-Missional (faithful-fruitful), Stable, Critical Moment, and At Risk. Everyone placed an “x” where they thought our church was currently at and an arrow in the direction they thought we were headed. We then had roundtable discussions to explain why we placed our marks and arrows where we did. What an interesting discussion!
A general consensus was that our church is a “Stable” church, and we’re moving toward the Healthy Missional church. Do you agree with the initial assessment that we gave ourselves during Veritas? Why or Why not?
A “Vitality Team” is meeting to continue this discussion and to go deeper in our assessment. We have several tasks to complete, which include an internal and community assessment. We hope you’ll hear a lot from our team so that you’ll feel a part of this process. We are all on this pathway together to become a healthier, missional church!
Let’s follow God as He leads us along this “Vitality Pathway”. Please pray for the team and process. Look for updates @theHub, in the Clarion, in the bulletin, or near the visual pathway. Please share your thoughts and ideas by telling a team member or jotting it down and placing it one of our mailboxes. We want and need your feedback! (View the Veritas video by contacting the church office for a review of the four types of churches.)
Vitality Team Members are: Pat Stevens, Jeff Carow, Melissa Falde, Tom Nelson, Chris Mueller, Krista Majerus, Steve Schalla, Robert & Lindsey Curtis, Pastor Todd, and Pastor Brian.